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Sapphire HD 6850 reviewed

by on01 March 2011


Sapphire’s HD 6850 (11180-00-40R SKU) features reference clocks but Sapphire has made a few design changes. The card is 8.5 inches long (21.7cm), slightly shorter than the Radeon HD 5850, which also occupies two expansion slots. For reference, the Radeon HD 6870 measures 9.5" inches (24.1cm).


As you can see the card is strapped with special Sapphire designed cooling. The fan is 7.5cm in diameter and is connected to the 4-pin connector. Fan speed regulation can be performed via the Catalyst Overdrive or any other tool you may prefer. Sapphire's TriXXX tool will allow for GPU voltage changes. You can download it here, provided you register your card.


The memory chips are exposed and do not have a passive cooling solution on top of them.



Sapphire HD 6850's heatsink uses two 8mm thich heatpipes to draw heat from the GPU core.


The HD 6850 sports 256-bit memory bus like the HD 5800 series, rather than 128-bit like on HD 5770 cards. Sapphire HD 6850 (11180-00-40R SKU) card is equipped with 1024MB GDDR5 memory. The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Hynix (model number H5GQ1H24AFR-T2C). They are specified to run at 1250 MHz (effective 5000 MHz).


The I/O panel features one DisplayPort 1.2 connector, one HDMI 1.4a and two DVI connectors (one of them is single-link with maximum resolution of 1920x1200).



Radeon HD 6850 consumes 127W at max so it will require one 6-pin power connector. Software GPU voltage control is possible. CHiL's CHL8214 voltage regulator supports voltage control via I2C and comes with extensive monitoring and tweaking features.


Just like the Radeon HD 6870, Radeon HD 6850 comes with only one CrossFire connector. This means that you can only use two cards in 2-way CrossFire.


Last modified on 02 March 2011
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